In this lesson we’re going to cover URL and metadata optimization, if you follow this your on-page optimization will be ahead of the majority of websites out there.
If you look at search engine results of even some of the more competitive terms you will often find mistakes which are talked about below which may be harming their rankings.
If you are using a wordpress site I would usually recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin or something similar as it just makes it super quick and easy. Although it can also be done editing your HTML and using the relevant tags.
Basic On-Page SEO Optimization
In your URL you usually want to keep it short, you don’t want it to have lots of directories e.g. /may/2018/blog/cars/volvo/xc40-review it would be better to just have /volvo-cx40-review.
So try get the URL to contain your main keyword once while keeping the URL length as short as possible.
Again for the title you want to try include your keyword once but you want to make sure that it reads well as the title is going to influence your CTR. Once you are ranking on the top page sometimes using clickbait titles can be effective such as:
6 things you need to know before X
In service businesses I also include the phone number as occasionally people will ring straight from the search engine.
Headings allow google’s web crawlers to understand the what your page is about. The H1 has the most power so should be your main keyword and then your H2 onwards should be sub categories. Think of it like writing an essay your H1 is your title with your H2 as your subtitles and so on.
For the H1 make sure that you limit it to one per page. I try to again include the main keyword once but make it different to the title. I won’t make the H1 just the main keyword in the majority of cases I will include it within a sentence, like a natural title to the post.
H2 and beyond
Your H2s should be used as subheadings (so you can have multiple) and where possible you should include LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords within these. LSIs are typically thought as synonyms (words which can be used interchangeably and have the same meaning). So let’s say you’re trying to rank for the word picture LSIs of this may be photos, images or pictures. Another example would be cars and the LSI keywords may be automobile and vehicles.
Using LSIs in this way is a great way to reduce your keyword density if you need to but also open your page up to ranking for smaller terms that it wouldn’t have before.
LSIs are also used to decide the relevance of you page for example when you say apple on your page are you talking about the tech company or the fruit or when you say amazon are you talking about the amazon rainforest or amazon the online shopping giant etc.
For meta descriptions the maximum length allowed by google is approximately 300 characters as mentioned here but in some searches the maximum allowed is 160.
While meta descriptions don’t impact SEO they can influence CTR which may influence your sites rankings, so it worthwhile spending the minute it takes to make it good.
I usually start by searching for the main keyword term I want to rank for and noting down the words in the SERPs which are bold. E.g. for electrician the following are bolded in the meta description, electrics, electricians. If I can do so naturally I will generally include at least one of these in my meta description along a synonym. If you can fit it in also include the companies phone number or a call to action. You can have a play about with using capitals for keywords etc. but I think for the most part the title is much more influential for CTR.
Now you are going to learn how to optimize the content on the page for SEO purposes.
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